Request for an Advisory Ruling, DPU 17-95

Consistent with the Cape Light Compact’s presentations to the public on transitioning from an inter-governmental organization to a joint powers entity (JPE), the Cape Light Compact (Compact) filed a request for an advisory ruling from the Department of Public Utilities (Department) on March 31, 2017. The Compact requested that the Department clarify that the Compact does not need to file a revised aggregation plan if it undergoes an internal reorganization that transfers the Compact’s operations from an inter-governmental organization under G.L. c. 40, §4A to a joint powers entity under G.L. c. 40, §4A½. The Department docketed the request as D.P.U. 17-95, in accordance with their routine practice for any matter before the Department.

For information on the Cape Light Compact JPE, please visit the JPE webpage. For information on why the Compact is transitioning from operating under an inter-governmental agreement to operating under a joint powers agreement, please see our Joint Powers Entity Questions & Answers.

About the request: Through this request, the Compact is asking the Department to confirm that the Compact does not need to file a revised aggregation plan simply because it is restructuring as a JPE. The transition to operating under a joint powers agreement (JPA) from an inter-governmental agreement (IGA) is solely an organizational change that will not impact the goals and purposes of the Compact, nor the implementation of its power supply, energy efficiency, and consumer advocacy services.

The Compact does not believe the submission of a revised aggregation plan to the Department is necessary because:

  • It is expected that all current municipal members of the Compact will join the Cape Light Compact JPE.
  • The organizational structure of the Cape Light Compact JPE will remain substantially similar to that of the Cape Light Compact, which was outlined in the Compact’s 2015 revised aggregation plan, approved by the Department in DPU 14-69.
  • All contracts of the Compact will be assigned or otherwise transferred to the Cape Light Compact JPE.
  • The Cape Light Compact JPE will administer the Cape Light Compact Energy Efficiency Plan approved by the Department in DPU 15-166.

17-95 Docket Filings:

Please click on the links below for copies of the filings related to the JPE advisory ruling.

You can view all filings in docket 17-95 by visiting the DPU File Room, selecting “Dockets/Filings” near the top of the screen, selecting “By Number,” and entering 17-95.

About advisory rulings: Under G.L. c. 30A, §8 and 220 C.M.R. §§2.02 and 2.08, the Department can issue an advisory ruling that may apply to any person, property, or factual situation of any statute or regulation enforced or administered by the Department. In these types of rulings, the Department does not resolve specific legal issues in the form of a formal and final decision, but it instead provides “an opinion about the legal effect and impact of a statute, rule or regulation administered by the Department.” (DPU 16-108).  The advisory ruling is not binding on either the petitioner or Department, but can be relied upon by the party seeking the ruling as regulatory guidance from the Department on the matter in question.

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